Compassion is central to successful patient outcomes. Studies have shown compassion is linked to reduced post-operative pain, higher survival rates in cancer patients and boosted immune systems across the board.
Equally as important as a healthcare provider’s medical knowledge and guidance is their compassion for patients – especially when it comes to home care. Home healthcare providers play an active role in the daily lives of their patients, requiring both owners and their team of caregivers to show empathy and compassion for their clients every day.
The Power of Positivity and Patient-Centered Care
Compassion is about the presence and engagement that will set patients at ease and make them more comfortable around their caregiver.
According to research by Dr. Robert Youngson, there are two types of successfully compassionate healthcare professionals.
- The first are empathetic professionals – people who are naturally empathetic and inherently grasp the importance of focusing their attention and compassion on the patient.
- The second group is comprised of those who are not naturally inclined toward empathy, but who have attended a doctor/patient communication skills course.
Different communication skills classes will emphasize different points of compassion in patient care. A universal technique for showing compassion is the “3 T’s”: Talk (or listen), take time and touch.
Simply talking to your patient or listening to them can make a significant difference in how positive and effective your care is. Taking the time to get to know them and to actively understand everything about them will also set you up to provide the best patient-centered care possible. Human touch can also go a long way in a patient’s welfare – holding their hand during especially trying times or difficult news will position you as someone who truly cares about their well-being.
Hiring for Compassion and Success
When it comes to home healthcare, families want and expect their loved one to be provided with the best possible care. Hiring compassionate staff that will take your clients’ needs into account is critical to run a successful home care agency.
Experience in the healthcare industry is important to ensure practical knowledge and skills, but compassion and empathy are even more significant traits for you to look for in job candidates. You should get a feel for this during the interview, but you can also target some of your questions to make sure you’re hiring the right people. Their mission should align with yours, and they need to be a positive point of support for your clients. Here are some questions you can ask candidates to make sure they’re the right fit for your business:
- What are your core values?
- What specifically attracted you to the home healthcare field? Why?
- What are your priorities in your life and work?
- What is a unique contribution you wish to make to the world in your career?
Implementing a communication skills course will also be crucial to the success of your employees – even if they are naturally empathetic. This will not only show them how dedicated you are to compassionate, patient-centered care, but it will also help them hone their skills and become better caregivers.